By now I'm sure the majority of you have notice that I've been uploading reduced resolution and utilizing the watermarking feature when I upload images to DA. I know the majority of you hate it. It's a distraction and to be honest I hate it more than all of you combined since I feel it ruins the final image. Unfortunately because of a handful of asshats out there I've had to resort to virtually ruining the images I upload here.
It's an age old problem that unfortunately has no solution.
The problem isn't and has never been my fan base the legitimately enjoys my work (who occasionally share the work elsewhere on the web). I'm GLAD that people like my work enough to want to show others. No, the problem is the scum of the Earth that treat DA and other sites where artists showcase their work like a free repository of work that they can resell.
Back in the days of Myspace, tag makers used to frequent DA and steal work to resell to sites that would generate money from "clicks". It was a pretty good scheme back in the day; one site that had purchased a stolen image of mine that was made into a tag was raking in over 2 million a year (no I'm not exaggerating that figure either. I got it straight from the horses mouth). Nowadays, every now and then I'll find .zip files my work for sale on some Russian web site. Of course there's very little I can do about it (yeah... like they're going to acknowledge a takedown request, or even an invoice sent to them). I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I find my work for sale through other means too.
I'm not exactly happy about the various "college frat sites" that are geared towards your average college male who swipe and repost images to drive page (and advertisement views) either. Their whole business model revolves around getting free content around the net and making money off of it.
I truly do appreciate my fanbase and I'm humbled that so many of you like my work. I know the watermarks are a pain in the ass and the ruin the look of an image. I hate using them more than you hate looking at them and if there was another way I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Just know that they're not on there because of you; rather because of the opportunistic a-holes who think nothing of profiting off of others' work.